Saturday, 9 February 2019

Ben Price interview: Being the Corrie baddie - and barber

Originally Nick and Shona didn’t see eye to eye, tell me about their relationship.

He doubted her. To set up with the mum of the person who killed your wife Nick quite rightly wanted to know what the reasons are and thought that can never work, it will always come back. He immediately thinks David was in a weak position, Kylie had died, he’s losing his grip, and he thinks Shona just jumped in. Nick is there as the big brother to say you might have got him but you haven’t got me.

He slightly softened towards her once he found out about David’s rape and realised she was the one there for him. Do you think underneath that he still has those doubts?

Yes, and I think what’s perfect in the story with the two characters is to keep that alive for if they want to write it to come back. If it goes nowhere then fine but Nick needs an attitude towards her which is ‘we’re alright for a while, you seem to be doing alright, but I don’t trust you’.

So him and David have now got the business and they have this secret, how is that going?

The good thing about David as a character is he’s morally a bit suspect so it’s perfect in the way that he just writes those things off and is like right now I run a barbers, okay you nicked the money but now I run a barbers and he can hold that over Nick. Nick wants something else for himself, he wants to pay Audrey back but he also wants the barbers to work, he is driven by his own business, he’s sort of under Carla a bit and he doesn’t like that. He doesn’t mind being in the factory but doesn’t like the fact Carla thinks he can’t do it. 

He and David have very different roles, do you think Nick thinks he is in control? 

Totally, if old brains there had sorted it out 18 years ago he would have his own salon by now and he hasn’t worked it out. Nick has come in and opened it like you’re not that smart. 

Will Nick always have that superior air? 

Yes, and I’m really trying to play that now.

Is it nice to play a bit of a baddie?

Yes, it is, what I like about him is that he’s not a big baddie. He’s someone that the audience, rather than shouting at the TV, are like oh he’s not nice. That’s not nice. And that’s important for Nick long term that you see that side of him where you think he’s not all that. He thinks, and Gail thinks he is the golden boy but he has that different side and it’s nice to play.

So the irony of the Shona situation is that Nick is criticising something she is doing yet there he is with his own secret

Yes, which is perfect. I love that duplicity. Getting caught for fraud it’s like ah it wasn’t really a crime. But it is. He thinks of Shona like that’s drugs, that’s not nice, it’s dark and dirty which has affected lots of people’s lives, Nick thinks he’s just taken some money off his gran, she won’t miss it anyway so that’s fine. It’s that superiority thing, he thinks why are you bringing murder and drugs into our family and if somebody goes well you nicked some money he would say well that’s completely different. 

Does he care about David? 

With Nick and David all of it is family, and within it they can fight and kill each other and hate each other but any outside influence they would turn on. It’s exactly like a Cain and Abel situation. It’s blood it’s family it’s the strength. If you have a strong family, you let go of every preconception you’ve got about what you can get away with within the family. Play it to the max because anyone comes outside you turn on them but within the family you can do what the hell you like. 

Nick walks in when Shona is cornered by two thugs in the barber shop, talk me through what happens there

The fact that they are there is not the shock it’s that they’ve come to his business and he’s like, oh, I’m going to have to deal with this. In his superior way he thinks they are not going to be that smart, they aren’t very nice. And also he sees it as holding something over Shona. But then it gets quite serious, he realises she’s panicked and they are going to do something serious to her son and although Nick doesn’t like her, he likes David enough to think he can save this or help her. He makes sure that if anyone’s going to bring Shona down its him.

Shona then admits that she is smuggling the drugs. Talk me through the scene where David starts smashing the mirrors because he realises Nick knows what is going on 

David reverts back and is like right I’ll just ruin it all I’ll smash it all which is his default as Nick steps back a bit.

Do you think they can make a go of the business?  

Nick is a fish out of water. He is in a barbers which is great as a character. He is still in the factory so it maintains that business air. Having that release for the characters is very good. Within the Platt’s there is a very good balance of drama and lightness and comedy. That’s what’s nice about the barbers. You should hopefully create a place where the audience goes ‘Oh it’s these two in the barbers, let’s watch this let’s watch them wash some hair’. It’s a good idea, it’s about family the street, the more you stick families together, the more you make them go into business together the more people get the dynamic of the street. It is very difficult if you are a new character in a new set, two old characters in a new set will work. Audrey’s has worked for so many years, people come in and out to have their haircut, the barbers is already working like that, already people come in. Craig comes in and Gary’s in and out. People come in for a chat or to have a little light comedy scene. 

Is the barbers a bit different for the street?

Yes, a bit like when they had the gym but you can’t just have people pop in and you don’t have a lot of dialogue in a gym but a barbers is all about the chat. You’ve set up a place a bit like the bistro and a bit like the rovers. They are not really there for what they are meant to be there for, it’s a place to have characters meet that wouldn’t normally meet. 

What’s your working relationship like with Jack? 

I was very lucky, we are friends and that’s because I think he’s very good and also we have a laugh. When I started he was quite young and we just laughed. We were doing all these scenes together which were crazy and high octane and in the end we both respect each other and work well together. We made a film together away from Corrie and it worked well because we understand each other.

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